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Understanding Volunteer Accident and Health Insurance

By Heather Brown
April 28, 2017

Volunteers are a necessity to keep your nonprofit doors open. Without their dedication and time, you can’t provide services and help those in need in your community. To keep your volunteers coming back, it’s important they feel cared for and valued by your organization. As a nonprofit director, that may seem like a tall order to add to your long list of responsibilities. It doesn’t have to be.

One of the best ways you can show that you care about them and their well-being by purchasing a volunteer accident and health insurance policy.

What is volunteer accident & health insurance?

Volunteer accident and health insurance or volunteer medical expense insurance pays costs associated with a volunteer injuring themselves on the job.

Why do I need a volunteer accident and health insurance policy?

A worker’s compensation or general liability policy does not cover volunteer injuries. Consider these scenarios.

One of your top volunteers decides to move a stack of boxes out of the hallway. While doing so, they trip and sprain their ankle. They need to go to the doctor but don’t have personal health insurance. Who will pay the bill?

A volunteer team sets up at a local event. In the middle of setting up your tent, a gust of wind knocks it down and causes a pole to fall and cut a volunteer’s arm. She goes to the doctor and needs stitches. Her personal insurance deductible is $300. Who is responsible for paying the difference?

A volunteer is hanging up decorations for your sponsored event. They slip and fall off of a ladder and need an ambulance to transport them to the hospital for tests, X-rays, and a cast. The out of pocket expenses are more than $1,000. Who is responsible?

Not having a volunteer accident and health insurance policy in any of these incidents puts you at risk for a lawsuit from the injured volunteer. Volunteers can file lawsuits even if they signed a hold harmless waiver. Waivers are not 100% guaranteed to hold in courts.

In each of these cases, a volunteer accident and health insurance policy would pay the out-of-pocket expenses or lost of wages if they can’t return to their paying job. In some cases, that’s all it takes for the volunteer to no file a lawsuit. Why? Because they feel appreciated.

Keeping your volunteers happy can be tricky. It’s important that you make them feel valued before and after an incident occurs. Having the right insurance coverage in place leads to increased volunteer retention and satisfaction. Contact your insurance agency for more information or request a quote from the nonprofit insurance experts.

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